What Should The Jets Do With Kerry Rhodes?

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First a few updates:

1. According to www.mlive.comthe Detroit Lions will either play the New England Patriots or our New York Jets on Thanksgiving. Obviously, the NFL has to choose the Jets because they are much more entertaining, Rex Ryan needs to be involved in a holiday associated with mass consumption of food, and because the Jets need a chance to make up for the 34-3 beat-down they took from Dallas on Thanksgiving in 2007.

2. NEW SECTION ALERT – I’ve added a 2010 Draft Section, as you can imagine there is all the information you need on the upcoming NFL Draft for the Jets, and of course it will updated accordingly as April 22nd gets closer.

3. Follow Turn On The Jets on facebook, because we are only 5 fans away from 200 and you want to be the person who ends up being the 200th fan.

4. Leon Washington sustained a compound fracture in his fibula last year, so it was stupid for me to say yesterday that he is coming off major knee surgery, because he isn’t, he is coming off major fibula surgery…you can’t generalize in the lower half of the body, that was the Eric Mangini in me coming out.

5. I am feeling a strong bounce-back episode for LOST tonight.

What Should The Jets Do With Kerry Rhodes?

I get the impression from most of the Jets beat writers that they believe Kerry Rhodes won’t be back in 2010, and I also get the impression that most fans would like to see Rhodes somewhere else next season. It isn’t hard to blame them. Rhodes was a major disappointment for the bulk of the past year. He was average at best through the first 10 games of the regular season, was rightfully benched, played better over the final 6 games, although he was still inconsistent at times and then came through witha few huge plays in the Jets Divisional Round win over the Chargers. At the end of the year, Rex Ryan didn’t give a glowing endorsement about him coming back. Defensive Coordinator Mike Pettine had some issues with him throughout the season. There are some reports, mostly from Rich Cimini of the Daily News, that Rhodes isn’t very popular in the locker room and people are tired of his “Hollywood” persona.

PhotobucketRegardless, in his end of the year press conference Mike Tannenbaummade it sound like Rhodes would be back next season. He said there isn’t a contract issue with him but instead an issue with making sure he is wholly invested in the off-season program. Yet knowing Tannenbaum’s history, I am sure he will be exploring trade options for Rhodes considering it doesn’t appear that he is a Rex Ryan type of player and because let’s face it…Tannenbaum just loves making trades. He can’t go through a whole off-season without one.

Personally, I think the Jets should bring Rhodes back next season. I don’t think they are going to get great value for him on the trade market. They aren’t going to get better by receiving a 5th or 6th round pick for him. I don’t want to see Eric Smith and James Ihedigbo platooning at safety next to Jim Leonhard because the Jets traded Rhodes for a late draft pick and weren’t able to sign another safety because of their free agency limitations. If Tannenbaum can get creative and somehow find a way to get a guy like Roman Harper, Antoine Bethea, or O.J. Atogwe than yes part with Rhodes because you have a way to replace him. If we are just talking about getting a draft pick for him, it better be at least a 3rd rounder so the Jets will have some flexibility to maybe move up and replace him through the draft but even at a 3rd rounder I wouldn’t be crazy about the move. Unfortunately, Eric Mangini isn’t making personnel decisions anymore in Cleveland because I’m sure he would have gave the Jets a 2nd round pick for him, and probably would have thrown in Josh Cribbs for good measure.

In the end, I think Rhodes will be back and it won’t be the worst thing in the world. You can’t argue with his talent level but it becomes a matter of him reaching it on a consistent level. He played a great all-around game in a huge spot against the Chargers last year, showed his pass coverage ability against Tony Gonzalez in the Atlanta game (I still don’t know why Rex Ryan moved to zone on the last play), and made some big plays in the Carolina game. He may never be the big play, pro-bowl caliber player he was in 2006 and 2007 but he could still be a solid contributor on this defense playing alongside Jim Leonhard.

Kerry Rhodes Complains About His Madden Ratings

Jets vs. Saints: Key Match-Ups

First a few updates:

1. Lito Sheppard, Donald Strickland, Jim Leonhard, Wayne Hunter and Larry Izzo sat out practice today. Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes were also limited. Despite the endless list of defensive backs on this list, Rex Ryan expressed confidence that all of them would be available on Sunday, withthe possible exception of Strickland. He didn’t rule out bringing in free agent Corey Ivy by the end of the week, if it looks like both Sheppard and Strickland won’t be able to go on Sunday. Ivy is familiar with Ryan’s system from his time in Baltimore, and would be able in step in right away.

2. Congratulations to linebacker Jason Trusnik for winning the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week Award.

3. Rex Ryan singled out Vernon Gholston for praise in his press conference, saying he was awarded a game ball for putting together an all around solid game, including saving a touchdown on a hustle play during one of Chris Johnson’s big runs.

Jets vs. Saints: Key Match-Ups

Tomorrow check back for an excessively comprehensive breakdown of the Jets/Saints game and then again on Friday for my prediction, today I am going to focus on the key individual match-ups for this Sunday’s game.

The Jets Banged Up Secondary vs. Marques Colston/Devery Henderson/Robert Meachem/Jeremy Shockey: With our without Lito Sheppard and Donald Strickland, the Jets will have their hands full against the wide variety of weapons the Saints have on offense. Darrelle Revis should be able to handle Marques Colston, but there will pressure on the rest of the Jets secondary to keep the speedsters Henderson and Meachem in check. If the Jets are without Sheppard and Strickland, Dwight Lowery and Drew Coleman will again need to respond with big time efforts off the bench. Jeremy Shockey is becoming a bigger part of the Saints offense, so expect to see Eric Smith shadowing him on passing downs. Smith did an excellent job against Owen Daniels in week one and continues to develop as a playmaker in the Jets defense.

Thomas Jones/Leon Washington/Jets Offensive Line vs. Saints Front Seven: The Jets have stuck to their running game through the first three weeks but haven’t had anywhere near the success they did last season. Thomas Jones is under 4 yards per carry and is a couple of big runs against Houston from being under 3 yards per carry. Leon Washington is right at 4 yards per carry but hasn’t ripped off any big ones yet this season. The Jets must run the ball successfully to keep the Saints offense off the field for as long as possible. Don’t be surprised to see Shonn Greene get a few reps if the Jones has another slow start. However, all the focus can’t be on Jones and Washington. The offensive line needs to do a better job of opening up holes for their pro-bowl running backs.

Bart Scott vs. Reggie Bush: Don’t forget a few seasons ago, when Scott had this to say about Bush after the Ravens put a beatdown on New Orleans, “The media darling, aka the golden boy of the NFL, tried to take a cheap shot at me, so I told him I was going to put some extra on it. He can do all those shakes he wants, but I wasn’t going anywhere. I put a little hot sauce on that ankle.This was after a play in the 4th quarter, where Bush left with a sore ankle after Scott tackled him. In subsequent interviews, Scott said he wasn’t trying to imply that he intentionally hurt Bush, but rather was referencing the spicy food in New Orleans and was joking around. I haven’t seen footage of hit but from clicking around the Internet, it appears most people don’t think it was anywhere near a dirty play by Scott. One of our most frequent readers, my good friend Dan is a big Reggie Bush lover and correctly pointed out he is second in offensive yards on the team, so the pressure will be on Scott, David Harris and the rest of the Jets linebackers to contain him on his receptions out of the backfield. Bush has struggled running the ball (111 yards, with a 3.7 per carry average) but been a big factor in the passing game (164 yards, 11 yards per reception).

Mark Sanchez vs. Tracy Porter/Roman Harper/Darren Sharper/Jabari Greer: The Saints secondary is tied for the league lead in passes defensed and interceptions. There will be pressure on Mark Sanchez in this game to put up some points through the air, so the rookie must do a better job of protecting the ball than he did a week ago. Sanchez has looked good when throwing the ball down the field so far this season so let’s see if he takes some shots to Jerricho Cotchery, Dustin Keller, or maybe even David Clowney, fresh off his Twitter suspension.

Marques Colston Almost Has Hands As Good As Mine